Saturday, February 09, 2013

Rock stars given dress restrictions for the Grammys

Publicists, managers, record company executives (i.e. rock star wranglers) received an email this week from CBS essentially laying down a dress code.

It states:  "Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack.  Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible 'puffy' bare skin exposure.

It goes on to say no product name or profanity can be printed on any garments.

This of course comes from Standards & Practices.   What makes this so amusing (at least to me) is that we're talking about the Grammys.  The music industry.   No one dresses more outrageously than the music industry.  That's part of their world.   CBS is going to tell Lady Gaga what meat is appropriate to wear? 


This of course stems from the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl a few years ago that caused a huge stir. There was talk of suing CBS for millions of dollars for destroying the lives of America's impressionable youth who were unexpectedly subjected to the shocking sight of Janet Janet's nipple... for less than a second. Live shows were put on delay as a result and our hypocritical puritan nation was shaken to its very roots for months.

This year, following in that proud tradition -- Beyonce sang at the Super Bowl. 

Remember the 2009 Oscars (a show seen by billions more people worldwide than the Super Bowl)?  Beyonce exposed her nipple for a fraction of a second and the reaction?

Nothing.

I think when you see this you'll agree -- American children were traumatized by the sight of Beyonce's nipple, and you're kicking yourself for deleting the Oscar telecast from your DVR menu.


And now we can't see the sides of breasts.  Oh well.  There's always the Oscars in a month. 

30 comments:

ScottyB said...

CBS forgot to add "Bathing caps and petticoats (no knees, please!) must be worn by all stage performers and approved by Angela Lansbury."

Barbara C. said...

Well, I'm no Puritan (in fact the Puritans despised us Catholics), but I do value the virtues of modesty and chastity and see nothing wrong with promoting either.

But I do think that too big of deal was made over the Janet Jackson incident. If you blinked you would have missed it...except for the press going on and on about it.

Oh, and what's this about Beyonce singing at the Super Bowl? From what I can tell, she just danced to her backtracking; I saw very little actual singing.

ScottyB said...

This has nothing to do with the Grammys or even a Friday question (so, sorry for being off-topic), but it has something to do with the way NBC especially deals with higher-quality shows these days -- which is something Ken has written about over the years pretty extensively. NBC just canceled 'Do No Harm' after airing just 2 episodes. I don't have cable, so I have to suffer thru network fare, and as far as network fare goes, it was damn good -- and nowhere as weird or hard to follow as that other show a season or two ago where a guy lived half his day in his world and the other half in his dead family's world. 'Harm' was engaging and well-written, I thought. Maybe the lack of vagina and dick jokes doomed it, but jesus h. christ, it wasn't like that Paul Reiser sitcom that got canceled after, like, 5 minutes into the pilot.

NBC really does deserve to die.

Getting back on-topic tho, CBS is going about it all wrong, especially since ratings is the be-all and end-all for the networks. They should promote unbridled nudity and weirdness for the Grammys. The whole world would tune in and the advertisers would be so happy their eyes would roll back into their heads and they'd have to hose themselves off at the end of the night.

ScottyB said...

@Barbara: Modesty and chastity actually was promoted. We ended up with Grammy shows filled with Paul Anka, Andy Williams and The Carpenters. And there was always Lawrence Welk's show, too. I personally don't get Lady Gaga's music or buy Pink's CDs, but a wet chick spinning around in an elevated sling (Emerson, Lake & Palmer did it first 35 years ago, but still) is definitely more interesting to watch.

And kinda, isn't getting a bazillion people to watch a TV show the whole idea in the first place?

michael said...

ScottyB, the point is not to get a bazillion people to watch, the point is to make money. And you don't make money when you have to spend a bazillion dollars in lawyers, court fees and FCC fines.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Ken,

I'm really sorry for doing this, but I would, very much, like to get your own personal and professional opinion on this piece of M*A*S*H fan art I have recently done, poking fun at how so many shows today are falsely advertised just to get people to watch them (The Big Bang Theory, in particular, as noted):

http://simanettefan.deviantart.com/art/False-Advertising-352861496

And this isn't another Friday question, again, I just would like to get your opinion about today's false advertising/marketing, and how you think it would be like if shows back in the day, like M*A*S*H, did the same.

Mike said...

Angela Lansbury? Despite the image, it's clear from watching Murder She Wrote that she is not eligible for that association. If they ever relocate Las Vegas, Cabot Cove is a good location.

Tim W. said...

I'm guessing a lot of the same people who were up in arms (pun intended) about the Janet Jackson incident had the same reaction when there was talk of gun control. Why it's more acceptable to show someone getting shot than half naked is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

For you modesty fans, I modestly propose the following:

Show as many tits, pussies, cocks and butts as possible, but prohibit the violence that your culture seems to adore.

That is all.

Regards,

Alan Tomlinson

P.S. Yes, I live in a country where breasts are commonplace in the news and guns are not. Our murder and rape rates are fantastically lower than that of the USA.

P.P.S. If you're offended by my language you truly need to get out more.

unkystan said...

Off topic. I just read that Christina Applegate has decided to leave "Up All Night". This may sound like a dumb question but, contractually, can she do that? And how do you feel about stars of a show abandoning a sinking ship?

Ray Barrington said...

Just saw this after the anonymous comment. After the Super Bowl, when one of the players was overheard calling his team's win "f***in' awesome," they showed "Elementary," which included a frontal shot of a man getting his brains blown out. Guess which one is more likely to get a fine from the FCC? And we're worried about the mental stability of gun owners? Seems we should be worried about the mental stability of network programmers ... and maybe (sorry Ken) the people who write and perform in this stuff. I'd love to see actors and writers start putting pressure on their industry to cut out the gore and violence. It couldn't hurt.

Ken Levine said...

I'm going to do a post Monday on the Christina Applegate situation.

And Ray, writers sometimes do use their forum to advocate gun control. Happy to say I was one of them on a little show called MASH.

Fred said...

Off-topic question: Does it bug you too that the words "cameo" and "guest star" are used interchangeably?

Eric J said...

Gun sales increase every time a nipple is revealed on television.

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brian t said...

Since only female breasts are verboten, what can they do to Meat Loaf if he rips off his wife-beater? One more reason to avoid Moob Tube ...

Cap'n Bob said...

Am I the only one that knows Janet Jackson's nip was NOT exposed at the Superbowl? She was wearing some kind of nip jewelry that covered her up.

And how a discussion of the Grammy dress code morphs into a discussion of gun control is astonishing. Some people...

Mike said...

I would rather the networks crack down on sex and violence that they are showing. Indeed the relaxation of standards I suspect kept Becker from being a hit show. Though Nancy Travis would have killed it off either way.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

Publicity stunt bait. Everyone's talking about this. Everyone will tune in to the Grammy's to see who violates the "order." And Monday, everyone will be talking the fallout.

Brilliant PR move by CBS.

Monk E. said...

who watches the grammy's??????

Mike Barer said...

That's funny because the outragous outfits create buzz. I still remember the see through top that JLO wore at the Oscars. I thought it was kinda funny, rather than sexy.

John said...

The music industry should give CBS exactly what it is asking for. Everyone should show up in Amish attire, designed to completely hide the figures. Men included - you shouldn't be able to tell the difference between Meat Loaf and Brad Pitt either. Go one further and read the cue cards like they are reading from cue cards (more than they do) - every intro completely wooden. Thank you speeches of "Thank you", and then get off the stage. F them. Stage an afterparty on a cable channel where they wear what they were going to wear, and have the winners give their thank you speeches then.

Johnny Walker said...

Being European (when it suits me), the idea of a nipple offending anyone is hilarious to me. I actually find the way Hollywood treats women's bodies a little distasteful. The only time you see the female form is when it's on display for the sake of titillation. That's a little messed up if you ask me. Sure, we British are more prudish than our mainland European counterparts, but I consider their attitude -- hey look, it's an advert for Corn Flakes and we briefly see a woman's nipple as she dresses for the day -- to be a lot healthier than ours (or Hollywood's).

But! When I actually watched that Janet Jackson / Justin Timberlake halftime show, I was, to my amazement, offended. And long before her nipple appeared. To be honest, I could see why the whole thing upset people.

Justin Timberlake prancing around Janet Jackson, informing her that he's going to "have you naked by the end of this song" seemed inappropriate enough for family viewing, but then when he made good on his creepy promise, I can understand why it offended people.

I found the entire thing to be inappropriate for family viewing (which I assume the Super Bowl is -- excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong), and it had nothing to do with a nipple being shown. And, yes,I'm utterly shocked to hear myself say that.

Anyways, can someone explain to me the wording in that Grammy document? "female breast nipples"? Do women have other, non-breast, nipples that I don't know about?

Cap'n Bob said...

Didn't you read my comment, Johnny? NO NIPPLE WAS SHOWN.

Johnny Walker said...

That doesn't really change anything from my point of view, but if you want to get technical...Her nipple *was* shown. Her jewellery covered some of her areola, but it still showed her nipple. Not that it changes anything, really. It's only a nipple :)

Mike Barer said...

Ok, what is the Grammy show going to do to prevent power outages? Now that everyone's reacting to Superbowl incidents.

Save the children! From... lunch? said...

What always cracks me up about the whole "Oh, noes! We must protect innocent CHILDREN (of all people) in the audience from the inappropriate sight of women's nipples (of all things)" crowd, is that from kid point of view, that's just what breakfast, lunch, and dinner used to look like a couple of years ago. Yes, I know not all babies are breastfed, but that's what women's nipples are there for, whether ever used as such or not. Make whatever other arguments for or against female modesty on TV you want, FCC & outraged home viewers. But protecting children??? If there is ANYONE in the audience for whom the sight of women's breasts qualifies as the very definition of NOT THE LEAST BIT INAPPROPRIATE, it's little CHILDREN! So silly.

Paul Duca said...

I'm simple...the Oscars (and Grammys) are favored by the blue states, the Super Bowl by the red ones. The same thing that wouldn't ruffle the feathers of one audience, freak out the other.

chuckcd said...

But it's ok to see someone shove an ice pick in their eye.

As George Carlin said about censorship, "Those are the ones that'll infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war."

D. McEwan said...

Thank Heaven you included the insert close-up of Beyonce's nip slip. I was wondering who you were talking about. But in the close-up insert, you can't see Hugh Jackman anymore and I noticed for the first time that there was someone else besides Hugh also in the shot. I watched that Oscarcast and never noticed Beyonce was on it. Hugh is like the Sun; when the Sun rises, beautiful Venus vanishes from the sky, lost in the sun's gigantic glare. Same with any woman next to Hugh Jackman. There's someone next to Hugh Jackman? Why? they can't be seen.